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Courses expose students to a range of learning and development theories; explore the history of American higher education, interpret financial and organizational structures, evaluate institutional effectiveness, and analyze educational research.
The Master of Education in Higher Education Leadership Program allows students to develop as scholars and professionals through a blend of classroom learning and practical experience. The Obama administration’s impending changes in overtime rules come with serious challenges for staffing admissions. Additionally, converting lower-level admissions staff to hourly workers could put the professionalism of admissions as an occupation at risk. In the current higher education climate, innovation most commonly relates to better serving a diverse and changing student body and delivering high-quality education at a lower cost. Higher education leaders have learned to monitor and improve key performance metrics, such as net revenue, enrollment numbers, and completion rates. For example, at Summit, we heard how Mount Holyoke College completely revamped its curriculum and career connections to create an integrated curriculum-to-career experience for all undergraduates.
While this example is particular to a women’s liberal arts college, the use of technology and data analytics is an important area of innovation that all of higher education is working through. When it comes to the big data and analytics revolution, higher education has been slow to adopt because it hasn’t had the infrastructure, data culture, or in-house expertise. Venture capitalist Roger Novak also joined us at Summit and told us that we are very likely in an edtech bubble. Building a data and analytics ecosystem and creating a platform for educational intelligence is one example of innovation in higher education. Big news came out of the United States Army last month, as it announced Army University, a new initiative that has the potential to impact all colleges that enroll active duty, reserve, and National Guard soldiers, as well as Army veterans.
The Army spends $275-$300 million on Tuition Assistance (TA) annually, with more than 115,000 soldiers drawing funds from the program.
While details of the new Army University (AU) are evolving (see the Army’s White Paper), it’s clear that AU will not be a brick-and-mortar institution.
AU will be modeled after a regionally accredited civilian university and lead by senior army officers and civilian academics. We recently spoke with Army Colonel Michael Harlan, the new Vice President for learning systems at AU. For colleges interested in learning more, the Army will host an Army University Educational Symposium on December 2-3, 2015 at Fort Leavenworth (KS). Understand the importance of “got your 6,”military speak for looking out for and trusting fellow soldiers. Leverage tactics both “from the air and from the ground.” Your digital marketing spend should complement your face-to-face marketing strategy and initiatives. Understand that there is no shortage of colleges devoting resources to recruit and enroll soldiers. Join Chad Smith, former Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation, as he speaks about developing leadership, improving education, while preserving cultural values and language. Student Observatory Public Night tonightHoliday Pinterest PartyHuskers hockey to play at Ice Box Nov. An emphasis on learning through technology invites students to develop instructional applications in a variety of software programs and create Web resources to further academic achievement and student learning. Students are immersed in the operations of academic affairs as well as student services in the higher education field. Many exempt admissions staff earn less than the $47,000 threshold proposed in the rule change, especially at schools in parts of the country with a low cost of living. Young, enthusiastic admissions staff benefit from the responsibility and flexibility of a salaried position.



Linda Hill told us that innovators who are game changers can’t just close the “performance gap”— they need to close the “opportunity gap.” In other words, it’s important to understand where we are now relative to where we think we should be, but effective change management will only come from understanding where we could be. How do higher education leaders create this kind of innovation in an industry that is historically conservative in adopting new methods and ways of thinking? These improvements are mostly incremental and involve managing the business of higher education. The faculty led the initiative, and it received strong endorsements from the board and president. Technology innovation highlights a fundamental issue that can hamper any innovation: the ability to tolerate and manage risk. We are now at an inflection point where we see higher education leaders considering how to promote a data culture and actively use analytics to drive improvement across the student lifecycle.
He believes that approximately one-third of existing edtech companies might close their doors in the next few years. This should not be a free-for-all, however; these risks should be articulated and understood by all involved. It underpins the deeper notion of your team’s ability to enact other key strategies and close opportunity gaps across your institution. Hundreds of colleges participate in the Army’s TA program, and many award academic credit for military education courses that the American Council on Education has approved for college credit. Rather, its goal is to consolidate the instruction offered at over 70 Army schools and training facilities and serve Army ROTC cadets to general officers. It will issue universal transcripts and award credentials, including undergraduate and graduate degrees.
The current military transcript is mostly limited to military and civilian courses taken while serving in uniform. This symposium will introduce civilian academic institutions to AU and begin an exchange of ideas with military professional educators. Soldiers not only talk to each other, but they also trust the opinions of their battle buddies. For example, geo-target Army nurses attending the nursing school at Fort Sam Houston (TX) with a digital marketing campaign leading up to a local meet-and-greet reception. If you are going to successfully compete in this environment, you must rally your troops on campus to ensure a seamless pathway for soldiers to succeed. You may use unl.edu without enabling JavaScript, but certain functions may not be available.
Faculty members will maintain commitment in the areas of service and research for the sharing of knowledge and will provide leadership to students. What will become of the road warrior admission counselor or the reader who logs 70-hour weeks poring over applications? An institution can certainly convert lower level admissions positions to hourly status, but that feels like demotion.
It’s rarer to make the leap of closing the opportunity gap by prognosticating what could be if fundamental changes were made to the practice of higher education.
The community as a whole felt this was an important strategy for reasserting and evolving the relevance of its liberal arts tradition. To access this avenue of innovation, higher education leaders must understand, negotiate, and work with the technology community. The venture capitalists behind these companies are used to such risks and place a lot of bets expecting to win only a few. To innovate, higher education leaders must recognize the constraints and break through the tendency towards institutional paralysis by negotiating the mismatch in risk tolerance between technology providers and educators.


Build two-way partnerships with outside technology vendors who are willing to collaborate with higher education institutions. In doing so, AU will increase academic rigor and ultimately award more credits that are transferable to civilian colleges. Currently, only a small number of Army schools offer regionally accredited degrees, such as associate and master’s degrees.
The new AU universal transcript, meanwhile, will include college courses taken prior to joining the Army, as well as competencies acquired on the job.
Only time will tell, but it behooves institutions that currently enroll soldiers through TA to learn more about the initiative.
Build a support network that engages faculty, staff, and students, such as a faculty-staff standing committee or a veteran student club and lounge. Soldiers praising your institution and programs is a critical influence on other soldiers and should be highlighted on your website and social media. Off-campus and distance learning programs will exist to accommodate a greater number of students in the service area. The rule change certainly presents a challenge for budget-constrained colleges and universities, for which there is not an obvious approach to remaining budget neutral while paying overtime during peak periods. How can institutions manage the rules change without blowing the budget, psychologically damaging and demoting staff, and de-professionalizing the field? Fortunately, more and more institutions are making a commitment to a top-level strategic consideration of the opportunity gap. With so much investment flowing into edtech, there are more opportunities than ever to build a strategic data and analytics ecosystem. As you select vendors and manage your partnerships, ensure that providers adhere to standards and terms of service that mitigate institutional risk.
This will tie these competencies more closely to academic credit and civilian employment opportunities.
Move from “military-friendly” to “military-centered” by questioning every policy, procedure, and practice that may impact a soldier, both inside and outside the classroom.
Match a handful of your degree offerings (and your marketing dollars) to a specific Army MOS. Students will experience learning that will enhance the appreciation and knowledge of diversity in the classroom and workplace including numerous hands-on experiences. These areas include new modes of program delivery, career outcomes, partnerships, and technology, to name a few. There is also a great deal of risk in deciding how to build that ecosystem because of the necessity of finding technology partners. We can hardly blame them, given the resource constraints they face and the importance of their mission. For example, promote your RN-BSN program to Army nurses or your criminal justice program to Army MPs. The stakes are high, the resources are limited, and the anxiety about making the right choices can be paralyzing.



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